Plant Virus Vectors 3.0: Transitioning into Synthetic Genomics.
Additional Document Info
Plant viruses were first implemented as heterologous gene expression vectors more than three decades ago. Since then, the methodology for their use has varied, but we propose it was the merging of technologies with virology tools, which occurred in three defined steps discussed here, that has driven viral vector applications to date. The first was the advent of molecular biology and reverse genetics, which enabled the cloning and manipulation of viral genomes to express genes of interest (vectors 1.0). The second stems from the discovery of RNA silencing and the development of high-throughput sequencing technologies that allowed the convenient and widespread use of virus-induced gene silencing (vectors 2.0). Here, we briefly review the events that led to these applications, but this treatise mainly concentrates on the emerging versatility of gene-editing tools, which has enabled the emergence of virus-delivered genetic queries for functional genomics and virology (vectors 3.0).